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 Thursday, June 12, 1986




7th-inning walk aids Coplay

Of The Morning Call

With a combined record of 19-2 before last night, Coplay and Limeport figure to be the class of the         Tri-County Baseball League this summer. However, the showdown between the two teams last night at Balliet Stadium was anything but classic.

In a game marred by eight errors, the ending was fitting as Bill Erie picked up a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh to give Coplay a 6-5 victory.

The win stretched Coplay's lead to 1 1/2 games over Limeport in the Tri- County's Northern Division. Coplay, league playoff champs a year ago, is now 11-1 while the loss dropped Limeport to 9-2.

"I was very surprised at the play of both teams tonight," said Coplay manager Bob Bartholomew. "We gave them a lot of runs and they helped us out, too. It was just one of those games. All I know is that they are a good team and they always play us tough."

Limeport skipper Ishky Fatzinger thought the close race between the two teams in the standings had a lot to do with the bobbles and botched plays.

"The importance of the game probably contributed to the bad play in the field," said Fatzinger. "Get a big game like this and everybody's a little tight. It (the bases-loaded walk) was a tough way to lose the ballgame. But we gave them a lot runs, too, so we really can't complain about it."

Limeport jumped out on top in the first inning when Dale Weiss singled, stole second and rode home on Billy Fatzinger's triple to left. However, Coplay came back with three runs in the bottom of the first on just one hit.

John Marushok got things started when he reached first on catcher's interference. Randy Remaly was then hit by a pitch and Jeff Erie walked to load the bases. Lou Falcon's fielder's choice grounder scored one run and another run scored on a throwing error. Billy Pugh then beat out an infield hit to score Falco to make it 3-1.

Coplay added to the lead in the fourth, getting two runs without any hits. Pugh walked to start the inning and beat the throw to second on a sacrifice bunt attempt. An error then loaded the bases and Marty Kovach's hard groundout to first scored Pugh. Another run scored when nobody could get Remaly's dribbler down the third base line.

Limeport battled its way back with three runs in the sixth with some help from Coplay's defense. A walk and an error put runners at first and third and at that point Bartholomew removed starting pitcher Steve Weidner and brought in hard-throwing Jim Emerick. Emerick surrendered a Bob Zeky sacrifice fly to make it 5-2 and then with two outs and the bases loaded, Emerick appeared to be out of the inning when he got Steve Miller to hit a short fly to right.

The ball was dropped, however, and two runs scored to enable Limeport to pull within 5-4.

Limeport got the equalizer in the top of the seventh when Billy Fatzinger walked, reached second on a passed ball, moved over to third on a groundout and scored on a clutch, two-out single to center by Zeky.

But the Limeport celebration was short-lived as Coplay struck with two out in the seventh. Falco reached on a walk and Jeff Snyder followed with an infield single. Dave Lutte, who pitched a five- hitter despite the shaky defense, then walked Pugh and Erie to force in the game-winner.

The final pitch was quite close and Lutte, along with several Limeport teammates, disputed plate umpire Denton Lakatosh's 'ball' call, but to no avail.

"Dave deserved a better fate tonight, but we just didn't give him any defensive support," said Fatzinger, whose team's only losses of the season have been at the hands of Coplay. "But I told our guys not to get down. We've been playing pretty good ball so far, but we're only a third through the season and nobody's won anything yet. We've just got to keep battling."

Meanwhile in the other dugout, Bartholomew was hardly ready to proclaim his team as the club to beat.

"I don't want to be cocky about our team, there are a lot of good teams around," said the Coplay manager. "I'll just say that we're one of the best teams in the league, not the best. We've been playing very well so far. We've been doing whatever it takes to win.

"I waited seven years to get a team in this league and this is our third year and I'm very pleased with how things are going. I just hope they keep going the right way for us."

In other games, Dan Silverblatt pitched a two-hitter as Bethlehem Township edged Salisbury 2-1.

Tom Golden went the distance for Salisbury, allowing six hits while fanning five and issuing no free passes.

Bethlehem Township's game-winner developed when John King singled, stole second, advanced to third on Dan Olshefski's long fly ball and scored on Mark Wargo's double.

Silverblatt's two-hitter was marked by first and second inning hits.

*Second baseman Ron Hack broke a 3-3 deadlock with his two-run single in Silver Creek's fourth inning, lifting the Creekers to a 5- 3 win over visiting Old Zionsville.

John Flynn got the win for Silver Creek with relief help from Bob Carr. Both combined on a four-hitter.

For the Creekers, Tom Schmidt drove in two runs while Old Zionsville's George Henry collected two of his team's four hits.

* Ray Ganser was the starting and winning pitcher last night as the visiting Allentown Angels edged North Parkland 8-7 in Tri-County League action.

The Angels (4-6) were led by Dave Fatzinger (2-for-3) and Dave Chapman (2- for-4, RBI).

North Parkland (4-7) rallied behind Rich Correll (2-for-2, run scored), Brett Simock (three RBI) and Brian Bachman's two-run double in the bottom of the sixth. The hosts scored five that inning, but the comeback bid was shortened by reliever Keith Myers. With runners on second and third and two out, Myers struck out Jim Kucharczuk (1- for-4).

The game went six innings before darkness.


From The Morning Call -- June 12, 1986

Copyright 1986, The Morning Call